Killing the Bismarck

  • by Iain Ballantyne
  • Narrated by Traber Burns
  • 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In May 1941 the German battleship Bismarck, accompanied by heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, broke out into the Atlantic to attack Allied shipping. The Royal Navy's pursuit and subsequent destruction of the Bismarck was an epic of naval warfare. In this new account of those dramatic events at the height of the Second World War, Iain Ballantyne draws extensively on the graphic eyewitness testimony of veterans to construct a thrilling story, mainly from the point of view of the British battleships, cruisers, and destroyers involved.
He describes the tense atmosphere as cruisers play a lethal cat-and-mouse game, shadowing the Bismarck in the icy Denmark Strait. We witness the shocking destruction of the British battle cruiser HMS Hood, in which all but three of her ship's complement were killed, an event that fueled pursuing Royal Navy warships, including the battered battleship Prince of Wales, with a thirst for revenge. While Swordfish torpedo bombers try desperately to cripple the Bismarck, we sail in destroyers on their own daring torpedo attacks, battling mountainous seas. Finally the author takes us into the last showdown, as battleships Rodney and King George V, supported by cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire, destroy the pride of Hitler's fleet.
This vivid, superbly researched account portrays this epic saga through the eyes of so-called ordinary sailors caught up in extraordinary events. Killing the Bismarck is an outstanding book, conveying the horror and majesty of war at sea in all its cold brutality and awesome power.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bismarck from the British side

Excellent literal documentary of the British vessels and crews involved in the famous hunt and destruction of one of the greatest battlecruiser of WWII. Superb personal accounts highlight the struggle, the anguish and fortitude of the men of the Royal Navy that were directly connected with the tragic loss of the ill-fated Hood and on to the eventual search, hunt and battles with the Bismarck that ended with loss of many men in the cruel North Atlantic Ocean. Well written, and well narrated, this is a book that looks from the opposite side of the often written Bismarck story.
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- Mr. Alan R. Jenkins

Very good listen.

What made the experience of listening to Killing the Bismarck the most enjoyable?

Good historical detail mixed with first hand accounts.


Any additional comments?

Overall very good, however it was a bit of a shame that a book primarily about the Royal Navy was read by an American who seemed thoroughly unfamiliar with British naval terms and history. Listening to common words mispronounced in an American way (like lieutenant mispronounced loootenernt, and buoy as boooey(?!)) will be quite jarring to most people who listen to this book, the majority of which I assume will be from outside the US.Other than that no complaints. Good show.

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- John G

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-01-2017
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.